Mikel Arteta told owners that the squad needed to change this summer and he wants to be active in the transfer window, starting with the imminent arrivals of Lokonga and White
Mikel Arteta made his transfer feelings perfectly clear at the end of a disappointing season – change the squad or risk being left behind.
The Spaniard was speaking after watching his side fail to secure European football for the first time in 25 years.
“The squad needs changing,” he said in May. Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up.
They [rivals] are going to get better and they’re going to strengthen, so we need to get better.”
And after a relatively quiet start to the summer window, Arsenal finally look ready to splash the cash to change the make-up of Arteta’s starting XI.
Nuno Tavares is the only confirmed arrival so far this summer, he will provide valuable depth behind Kieran Tierney.
But it is expected Tavares will be joined by Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White in the coming weeks. The Gunners have agreed to sign both, with Arsenal finally striking a £50m deal for White on Friday night.
The Brighton defender’s imminent arrival fulfils Arteta’s top priority in the window, adding a right-sided centre-back to partner the impressive Gabriel Magalhaes.
According to the Athletic however, those deals are only the start of Arsenal’s plan to overhaul the playing staff, with a number of others linked.
Elsewhere, there are claims that Arteta could look to upgrade his options in between the sticks and Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale has emerged as a serious option – if they can meet the Blades’ valuation.
Arsenal also want a new right-back to replace Hector Bellerin, who looks destined to leave the Emirates.
Norwich City’s Max Aarons is understood to be on their radar, with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano suggesting the Gunners will go head-to-head with north London rivals Tottenham for his signature.
In midfield, Arsenal want an experienced player to sit alongside Thomas Partey and reports have speculated that £35m-rated Ruben Neves could be the man.
Wolves are said to be open to selling the 24-year-old and Edu has reportedly been in close contact with agent Jorge Mendes.
In front of that midfield base, Edu remains keen on signing a No.10 after watching Martin Odegaard thrive in that position in the second half of the season.
The Real Madrid star remains on the radar and their hopes of signing the Norwegian were given a massive boost amid claims that the Spanish giants need to slash their wage bill in the coming weeks.
On the left, Emile Smith Rowe is said to be close to agreeing a new long-term contract and start on the opposite flank to the ever-improving Nicolas Pepe.
It promises to be a hectic final six weeks of the window, but either way, Arteta looks set to be granted his wish, with an almost unrecognisable XI in the offing.
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